As DC Comics relaunches its titles this month, there are very few writers who stuck on their former books.
One of the exceptions is Paul Levitz, the former president of DC Comics who has revived his writing career by returning to the Legion of Super-Heroes, a team he helped define during his legendary run more than 20 years ago.
Now he gets to launch the team again, working with artist Francis Portella. But this time around, the changes are more tonal than anything else, and the characters who populate the futuristic team will be younger.
"This will be a little bit different tone than we've had recently, and this is a different mix of characters," Levitz explained to Newsarama when the new #1 was first announced.That "different mix" of characters is thanks to a spin-off title that launches this week, Legion Lost, which takes several characters away from the Legion of Super-Heroes and throws them into peril in the past.
To make up for their absence, Levitz is adding a few new characters, some of whom were seen in his Legion Academy stories last year. And that change will give the comic a younger bent.
"We're going to try to have, with the Academy kids and the mix of characters that we show, a little more of the classic 'Legionnaires as young people' theme," Levitz said. "We'll have a little less emphasis on the characters whose lives have gone on to more complicated, older stages. That doesn't mean we won't see them again, but we'll move the spotlight a little."And in that process, I think you'll get a chance to play with some different emotional beats and bits than I've had over the last 16 issues of arc," he said. "With this age group, you can have rebellion, you can have self-discovery... their life is at a different stage and different things matter to them."
Levitz is also launching a new mini-series in October, Legion: Secret Origin, that will tell secrets about the Legion's past.
As part of our continuing "DCnU Take 2" series of interviews, where we follow-up with writers to find out more about their new series, we talked with Levitz about his new take on the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Newsarama: Is there anything you couldn't talk about or detail before, when we first talked about Legion, that you can tell readers now?
Paul Levitz: Now that fans have seen how beautiful Francis' work is, and how obviously hard he's working on the series, I can reassure them that we're staying on schedule with some carefully picked and planned guest artist issue--starting with Walt Simonson on #5.
Nrama: Now that you've seen the reaction from fans to the news about your comic, what are the top three things you want to clarify about it?
Levitz: That this is simultaneously a continuation of what existed before in the Legion, and a genuine new 52 title, reflecting the changes in overall DC continuity, and also in ways we're still developing, clarifying Legion history without throwing it out.
Nrama: Now that you're further into writing the comic, how would you describe the direction your title is taking?
Levitz: I think the most fun surprises have been the visuals that Francis has been developing -- his visions of future tech, and of alien beings.
Nrama: What character in your comic do you expect to become beloved by fans? And why?
Levitz: Part of the joy of the Legion is always that different folks have different favorites. Personally, I'm having a lot of fun with Phantom Girl lately--both in the first arc of the new series and in the Secret Origins mini.
Nrama: Most important thing you want readers to remember about your comic?
Levitz: That it's the future of the DCU.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!
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